Clean Files – The Good, the Bad and the Fugly

The Good Knowing how to accurately prepare clean files is a critical skill for any designer. You may work in an environment where you only design, and the production department cleans up your files and passes them on. But knowing these requirements will keep your work “producible” and you in the good graces of your…

6 Color Systems You Should Know When Designing For Print

Color systems and models are the languages we use to classify, describe and render color. Like any industry, it is part of the jargon – the tech talk of graphic design. These models are important because they use a precise language to describe precisely how color should be rendered. You as a designer get this…

Interview with Creative Honey

Wow, I had the best time being interviewed by Maria Bougioukos and Zachary R. Hill for their podcast Creative Honey! From their website: “Both have a passion for design, art, and sharing the stories and the results of the creative endeavors that so many of us put forth into the world on a daily basis.” I…

It’s Not Easy Being Green

It’s not easy being green. If you’re thinking about making your next print project environmentally friendly, make sure you know about recycled paper and “green” printing. You have undoubtedly heard impassioned pleas by environmentalists extolling causes that are good for the earth and posterity. There has been news about the evils of printing and paper and…

How to Get a Print Estimate

A printing estimate is much more than just the cost of the job. It is also a preliminary production plan based on the specifications you provide. Within the estimate is the blueprint for how the job is going to be produced. Always use a checklist to put together a request for quote (RFQ). It is…

5 Design Considerations Before Binding Printed Matter

Humans have been binding pages together since the second century. Bindery is a true testament to our desire to organize information and package it for convenience and safe-keeping. Modern bindery has some terminology that is good to know and modern bindery also has some pitfalls, the same pitfalls that have been around for nearly two thousand…

How to Get a Good Paper Grade

Getting a good paper grade isn’t like acing a test. Paper grades are classifications with very slight deviations from the old school classifications that correspond with how printers order paper. Learning about paper grades this way will make it easier for you to converse with your printer. Bond and Writing Bond/writing is very receptive to…

What is a Press-Check and What Are You Supposed to Do?

Back in the olden days of digital prepress and printing, when proofs bore no resemblance to what would show up on press, the designer would be invited to a “press check” at the printing plant. This was so that the designer could approve and sign off on the actual job in addition to already having…